Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday 30.9: Handstand push-ups, row

Monday. Strength, 5 sets of max effort: handstand push-ups (max PR 15). Metcon, 5 rounds of: 1min row max effort, 1min rest. Distance 1.609m.

I was taking it a bit easier today with concentrating in bodyweight strength and then short rowing workout. I've found a good way to program my workouts so that I don't have to keep total rest days that much and still my body feels fresh all the time. August was a rough month with barbell work taking place pretty much every day. That was seen in the total weights lifted during the month (over 100.000kg) and my body was too tired in the end. In September I decided to take it easier with the barbell, focus on bodyweight movements much more than earlier and it seems to pay off. Finding a balance between the two is an issue to to fight constantly.

Toni's PR stuff

Strength. Total 54 reps
  • 5 sets of max effort: 
  • Handstand push-ups
  • Results PR 15, 10, 11, 9, 9 reps
Building strength base in August and pressing / jerking a lot with heavy bars has strengthened my shoulders. In September I've done numerous reps of handstand push-ups and my technique has developed a lot. Today I did 5 sets of max reps hspu's. The first set was clearly the end result of a lot of work. Did 15 reps which is new PR by 3 reps.

Back in summer I remember doing 30 reps as a metcon. It took me an eternity and about 7 sets to finish it. Today I had 36 reps after 3 sets. And after 5 sets my result was 54 reps. Some development has occurred. This time I did all reps with kipping. Got to work on my strict hspu's as well. Especially in strength sessions like this one. In a metcon, reps for time, it's only smart to do kipping because it's more efficient. However, today I wanted to do a personal record =)

Metcon. Distance 1.609m
  • 5 rounds of:
  • 1min row, max effort
  • 1min rest

Some cardio work in the end. Iw was able to keep the pace under 1.40 all the time. It was around 1.34-1.38 / 500m. Kept the damper setting around 8. Could have continued for longer than 5 rounds but today's agenda was not to keep it on high volume. After rowing I concentrated in mobility, resistance band and lacrosse ball to release soft tissues. Tomorrow I'll get back to action with barbells. Let's see what's in program =)

In the mean while you guys can shake a little haha

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday 29.9: Hiking & kettlebell metcon

Sunday. Hiking for 1 hour. Metcon, 5 rounds of: 15 kb swings (32kg), 10 pull-ups, 20 lunges.

Spent the weekend in the country side and went hiking for one hour after breakfast with Pauliina, Kari and Maija. There's a hill nearby that we climbed up and down in autumn weather. Breathing went up and down as well. It was a good leg-opener since my legs were smashed from previous days' workouts. Once we got back to the house, we did a metcon with Kari.

Hiking. Hard to say what the altitude was between ground level and top of the hill. Anyway, the scenery as astonishing once we landed at the highest point of Tornimäki. It's a place where my in-laws take trips more frequently and where Pauliina used to hang out as a kiddo. This was my first trip up there. Once I've done a workout at the roots of the hill in August. That was a tough combo of uphill running and kettlebell swings.

Metcon. For completion

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 15 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 20 lunges

Working through these movements and rounds with solid pace, not paying attention to the clock though. Worked together with Kari who did his own metcon at the same time. He was doing kb swings as well, combined with kb high-pulls and air squats, couple of lunges might have been there too. I'm proud he's doing his metcons consistently. Once we were at the hill, he was running back and forth as the rest of us were too slow for him =) He wanted to have his heart beat up from the beginning to the end. Plus he did rather long metcon when we came back to the house. That's a good work ethic!

I did the movements unbroken. Grip strength always seems to be the "thing" with kb swings for me. It starts to tingle the forearms a lot and I have to concentrate a lot to hold on the bell. On the pull-ups I was focusing on doing the reps without a kip. Also did probably 3 sets palms facing me, usually don't do them at all. Lunges were "rest".

Pull-up rack

Some evidence from Sunday's workout

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday 28.9: Squats, row, thrusters + skills

Saturday. AM. Back squats, emom, 2 reps @ 100-115kg, for 12min. Metcon, 3 rounds of: 500m row, 15 thrusters (60kg). PM. Pull-up clinic. Handstand skills.

Today meant hard work. In the morning we went to traditional gym for back squats and row/thruster metcon. Those thrusters were heavy. Then we drove to Klaukkala to spend the weekend there. In the afternoon we couldn't leave Kari's new purchase alone: the pull-up bar. It was freaking awesome and we spent a lot of time playing with it. Did some handstand later on as well.

  • Every minute on the minute
  • 2 reps back squat, for 12min
  • 3@100, 3@105, 3@110, 3@115kg
Recap of the squats

Squats went well. I started with 100kg and increased 5kg after every 3 minutes. My legs hurt a little bit because of yesterday's training so I did 2 reps per minute. Had no troubles in doing those reps. I believe this was exactly what I needed. My metcon was supposed to be heavy so this was just perfect.

  • 3 rounds of:
  • 500m row
  • 15 thrusters, 60kg
  • Time 14.28

Those thrusters were heavy and nasty! Took rowing quite easily because it was obvious that wouldn't make any difference in the final time. Instead, it was the heavy thrusters - 45 of them - that made it difficult. In the first round I did 9+6, on the second round 7+5+3, same in the final round. It didn't burn my legs but it was all about shoulders. They were in fire after each set of 15 reps. Plus my breathing was heavy as well, surprise.

Pull-up clinic. Worked on my pull-up technique with father-in-law. We were getting better at our technique, worked on kipping, strict and chest-to-bar pull-ups. Used both grips, palms facing in and out. I'd estimate having done about 50 reps in total. We also did some pure kipping swinging without any pull-ups plus knees-to-elbows. Then some mobility in the end with the help of resistance band.
After been done with the pull-ups, the whole gang - me, pauliina and her parents went to see the new playground / sports area the city had constructed recently. Found a perfect place to practice handstand so I did a few attempts. We also found some cool toys to play with, no matter what the age was :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday 27.9: Muscle-ups, handstand, sprints, metcon

Friday. Skills, muscle-up 11x1, handstand. Sprints 8x100m. Metcon, for completion: 5 rounds of: 10 t2b, 10 ring row.

Friday night. Pauliina was outdoors with her friend so I had some quality time with crossfit =) Decided to work on my weaknesses. Went to Pirkkola, "HC Triplet" venue to do bar muscle-ups and handstand.  I also ran 100m sprints, which has been a rarity. Then I hopped on my car and drove to home gym for a metcon and mobility.


  • Muscle-ups, 11x1
  • Handstand

It's been a while since I did my last muscle-ups. I've practiced on ring muscle-ups but haven't been able to perform a successful rep. Will have to concentrate more on those. However, today was reserved for bar mu's. There's still that awkward twist as I land on the pull-up bar with right side first. That's because my right leg does the "kick" and left leg kinda lags back.

Waiting for muscle-ups to be done

I'm still able to nail every rep I attempt but those definitely consume more energy compared to a situation where I would be pulling higher with both legs doing work equally. So getting reps done is very positive but there's technical work to be fixed in order to make them more effortless. And once I get rid of that biased right side, it will probably ease the ring muscle-ups as well because there you have to keep the package tight and not twist the body to any direction.

Took 20 dips at the top of the pull-up at then end of the last muscle-up. My shoulders were destroyed after this training part so I was able to do only a couple of sets handstand skills. It felt good though in the beginning. Towards the end I felt like there's no strength left in my shoulders so I decided to move on to running.

Friday evening at the gym, surprise there's no one


  • 8 x 100m sprints

When was the last time I did running? Honestly, I don't know. There's been running as part of a metcon. I have intentionally done running metcons when I've been here in Pirkkola or lifting weights in Eltsu because there's also a running track in the weight lifting place. But I haven't been concentrating in running 100 / 400 meter sprints.


So today I did 8 sets of 100 meter sprints. Recovery was the walk back after which I immediately went for the next run. The latter half of the sprints was agonizing. I gave my all in the running part. In the beginning my shins were hurting a bit but it went away after the first run. Maybe that was only because of lack of running.

On the first 2 runs I felt my pace was around 80-90% of max but from then on my joints were loose enough and it felt good in my body, legs and upper body. Did 8 sets and felt awesome after having done them because it's been such a long time since last running training.

Kiddos playing football during the sprints

Metcon. For completion

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 10 toes-to-bar
  • 10 ring rows

Drove to the gym in order to do bench press for strength. Once I arrived at the Box, I realized the bench was missing the actual bench?!? Not the most comfortable platform to lay on. So I had to modify. Was thinking about floor presses and even tried some dumbbell bench presses. After doing some foam rolling, playing with the barbell I noticed I wanted to concentrate today on bodyweight movements. Let's save the barbells for tomorrow.


A movement that always needs improvement is toes-to-bar (or knees-to-elbows, doesn't matter). It's awesome movement for a number of reasons. It strengthens the core, shoulders, grip strength, metabolic conditioning, actually the entire body gets it's share. And ring rows are simply nasty. My muscles tend to go tired after just a short number of reps so no harm in doing those once in a while.

Toni was taking a day off today. His talking about doing one of the benchmark girls tomorrow. If he's able to make it to local crossfit affiliate, I'm looking forward to see how he's doing. For finnish speaking guys: if you're in Facebook, look up Crossfit Vantaa and you'll find an interview of Tony the Pony. He's the "crossfitter of the week" =)

Ring row

Jason Khalipa

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday 26.9: Hspu, snatch, rowing

Thursday. Dumbbell snatches 3 x 5/5 (20-30kg). Metcon, 20 hspu, 20 snatches (50kg), 20 hspu. Metcon, 30sec on, 20sec off, for 10min: rowing.

This time we went to the nearby gym with Pauliina. I was freestyling the workout as we entered the place. My body wanted to do handstand push-ups and snatches so I modified a workout of these two. Tried some dumbbell snatches prior to the workout and finished the session with rowing a bit over 2k in half a minute intervals.

Strength. Dumbbell snatches 5/5 - 5/5 - 5/5 (20, 25, 30kg). Plus 5x40, 3x50kg power snatches with barbell. Took some snatches with dumbbells and realized the weights were light. Did 30kg snatches at max. Better add some weights soon. It's nice to see those dumbbells fly up there even though 62.5kg is max load on the barbell snatch.

Snatch, 50kg

Metcon. For completion
  • 20 handstand push-ups
  • 20 snatches, 50kg
  • 20 handstand push-ups

This was lots of fun. I love those hspu's, no doubt about it. Especially as I seem to have become stronger and more effective with them. There's been a LOT of work to get to this point and it's time to enjoy the results. My shoulders have clearly become stronger and being inverted in general feels comfortable. The path has been rocky but hundreds and hundreds of repetitions have made their work.

Handstand push-ups

I completed the first 20 hspu's in 6+6+4+4 with short breaks between sets. Tried to keep rest periods as short as possible. Did probably the first 10 reps strict, then the rest with the help of kipping technique. Got to say my shoulders were smashed after 20 reps.

Did the 20 snatches @ 50kg in sets of 5, chill for a while and take the next attempt. After having done all snatches, I was wondering how in hell could I do 20 more handstand push-ups! My shoulders were aching so badly.

Still, once I threw myself against the wall, I got 8 reps on first try. Whaaaat! Awesome to see I was able to do lots of reps even with shoulders almost numb. Took sets of 8+5+4+3 to finish the workout. This was a shoulder killer for me.


  • 30 sec on, 30 sec off, for 10min
  • Rowing

Didn't remember to check the distance precisely, it was somewhere over 2k. I tried to keep the pace around 1.32-1.36 / 500m for each 10 rounds. This was such a short breather that I was able to maintain a solid pace all the time.

Toni's workouts.
  • Strict dumbbell press 5x5 (20kg)
  • Weighted dips (5x5 (10kg)
  • Weighted pull-ups (5x3 (10kg)

He's still having mini flu so he avoided pressure for lungs and did strength work instead.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday 25.9: Back squats and burpees

Wednesday. Back squats 3x10 (100kg). Metcon, 50 burpees, 4min rest, 40 burpees, 3min rest, 30 burpees, 2min rest, 20 burpees, 1min rest, 10 burpees. Time 16.55.

Back squats, got to keep them on schedule. Just squatted 3 days ago, so it was about time to go again =) Plus a lot of burpees! 150 burpees for time with pre-determined rest periods in between. After those burpees I was done. Once I got home, we went for recovery walk in the woods with my dearest one. It was a beautiful autumn weather.

Strength. Back squats 3x10 reps (100kg). Wanted to program the squats in a different way and decided to hit longer sets with semi-heavy weights. 3 sets of 10 reps on each set. I kept the barbell @ 100kg each time. This was a good variation and the kilos were perfect for me this time. Each of the set went in a similar way. I did 6 reps without stopping and then after a short pause, couple of inhales, completed 2 more reps, another inhale, then finish the set.

The 100kg weight for me is such that it feels heavy after a few reps but it's still doable. It's somewhat a mental game how many reps I could do with this bar. Those last reps today were tough. I'll try to squeeze in different types of strength training sessions with my back squats. Shorter and longer rep sets, emom training, eccentric squats, pause squats…

10 back squats, 100kg

Metcon. Time 16.55

  • 50 burpees
  • 4min rest
  • 40 burpees
  • 3min rest
  • 30 burpees
  • 2min rest
  • 20 burpees
  • 1min rest
  • 10 burpees

Whaaaat?!? 150 burpees, uuh mama… Why did I ever write this down on my calendar? Well, seriously, it was freaking awesome! Descending amount of burpees with decreasing amount of rest between action. The idea was to go all in on every work period because there was rest period waiting around the corner. Total time was 16.55, that time included the rest (10 minutes) as well so the total work time for 150 burpees was 6.55min.

Was able to push forward on every set without breaks. On the set of 50 reps my pace slowed in the last 10-15 reps and breathing got heavier and heavier. 4 minutes rest was enough to get going for the next round. The first 25 reps were fine after which it started to get on my chest and triceps. Was able to keep moving still and felt horrible after those 90 burpees were finally done.

Took a 3min rest and I needed those to prepare for the upcoming 30 reps. At 15 reps the muscle pain came back that I just witnessed last round. Those burpees started to wear down my muscle endurance on the set of 40 reps. I was done after the 30 rep set! Kept on walking around the gym to recover faster.

Last 2 sets were "easier" as the end was looming and I felt it's entirely a psychological issue at this stage of the metcon. There were 120 reps done and only 30 to go. Was able to move unbroken through all sets, 20's slowed me down after 10-12 reps but on the last round I got them done fiercely.

Doing this many burpees in one metcon was freakish. I'm glad I did it. Burpee is an excellent movement, I must say, to increase metabolic conditioning and overall strength. Once you do enough of them, they start to fatigue the muscles as well. And not only in one part of the body but throughout: legs, chest and arms.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday 24.9: OHS, clean and jerk, t2b

Tuesday. Overhead squats 5x5 (50kg). Metcon, 15-12-9-6-3, clean & jerk (60kg), toes-to-bar. Time 10.14.

Today was tough. The metcon took my breath away, literally. Did 5 sets of overhead squats for strength work and then continued with clean & jerks and t2b's. The number of c&j's made the work painful. Still, I felt like a winner after the workout and am very happy for completing the training session. Toni did a 100 burpee test and improved remarkably since last time.

Love these things

Strength. Overhead squats 5-5-5-5-5 (50, 50, 50, 50, 50kg). Stayed with the same weights all 5 sets, 50kg on the barbell. This movement is not of my strengths. Having to keep a ridiculously wide grip on the barbell makes it more difficult to stay solid. My upper back mobility forces me to keep my hands at the very ends of the barbell.

I was able to handle this weight nicely. My one rep max is 70kg and usually haven't done 3-5 rep sets with over 50kg. It seems like a good weight for me to work on. Especially as I tend to practice this rarely. Anyway, I believe this movement is something I'll put some focus once I get my lifting shoes. Another movement is squat snatch.

Today it was easy to reach full depth on the overhead squat. I was able to push knees properly out and thus find a way to sit in the "hole". And the core was well balanced, not wiggling at any point. Felt good.

Metcon. Time 10.14
  • 15-12-9-6-3
  • Clean & jerk, 60kg
  • Toes-to-bar

Uuh, this was nasty. There were 45 reps of both movements. That's a lot of clean & jerks for me against time. That means there's no rest period at all. I've been wondering how far I could go with 60kg clean & jerks if I was to go for one set only. This is something I keep on wondering from time to time for the sake of benchmark workout Grace. Every time I've done around 5-6 rep sets for as long as possible. At some point it has broken to smaller pieces.

Some day in the future I hope to push through Grace totally or at least almost unbroken. Few weeks ago I did 3 sets of 10 reps. Hard to say what's more beneficial: to do sets that you know you can complete and this way follow the strategy. Or go all in in the beginning, get more reps in the first attempt but then draw back on the next sets because you're so fatigued from the first push.

Bearing the number 45 in mind, I decided to cut the first set in 2 sets. Starting with 10 reps, then break, and another 5 reps. T2b's were the rest period here. Okay, they burnt my shoulders because they were so crushed from the c&j's. But still it didn't consume me in practically any way. I was only trying to save my shoulders so they would be prepared for the next set of clean & jerks.

I guess I did 4+4+4 on the second round with some rest between the lifts. On the third round it must have been 5 reps at first and then I recall it was 2+2 with just a short break. Last two rounds (rounds of 6's and 3's) were unbroken since there were so few reps left that I got my head around it and finished with glory. I even ran the last 10 meters to the pull-up bar to complete the last 3 reps of the t2b's.

Heavy breathing all the way. I was able to maintain the barbell moving well all the time. I didn't have to stop the bar at my chest level but was able to bounce and jerk it straight up after the clean. That was the key to good c&j's.

There's some speed!

Toni's workouts.
  • 100 burpees for time. Time 6.58.
  • Max time sitting against wall. Time 0:39

We did a 7min amrap of burpees back in October last year. Then, Toni was able to complete 84 reps in the time domain. Today his metcon was 100 burpees for time. Happened to be 2 seconds shy of 7 minutes. Well done, 16 reps improvement. Take a look at his burpees from about a year ago.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday 23.9: Push press, hspu, pull-ups

Monday. Push press, emom, 3 reps, for 12min @70-75kg. Metcon, for 20min: odd minutes, 5 hspu, even minutes, 10 pull-ups.

Let's make upper body do some work. Push press emom is always a cool way to start the session and then more shoulder strength through handstand push-ups (that are finally getting to feel comfortable) and pull-ups. Quite a number of both of them. Mobility in the beginning and in the end.


  • 3 reps every minute on the minute for 12 minutes:
  • Push press, 4 sets @ 70kg, 4 sets @ 72.5kg, 4 sets @ 75kg

This is something I like a lot. Excellent way to increase shoulder strength and muscle endurance simultaneously. There's not much time to recover in emom-style workouts so you have to recover fast to be ready for the next set. I did this for 12 minutes and increased the weights with 2.5kg after every 4th set. Originally I had planned to do this entirely @ 70kg, for those 12 minutes. But I felt I would have it what it takes to add weights.

Previously I've done similar sets for 10-12min @ 70kg so it was about to try going a little heavier. It felt good for a long time. I was able to keep the bar moving constantly throughout the 3 reps for probably 10 minutes. Then on the last 2 rounds / minutes I had to stop the movement after a couple of reps at my chest. It's important to keep the barbell moving, it's more systematic and consistent, thus less consuming as well. I've noticed the same thing with clean & jerks. When you keep the bar moving all the time and utilize the bounce at the chest, it's way smoother and easier.

What do ya say about Jason Khalipa's 20 x 150kg back squats...

  • For 20min:
  • Odd minutes, 5 handstand push-ups
  • Even minutes, 10 pull-ups

Total of 50 hspu's and 100 pull-ups. That number of hspu's is great for me. There's been over 200 reps this month, clearly a record breaking month in some of the bodyweight movements. There's also been a couple hundred pull-ups. It feels like my handstand push-ups are so much better nowadays. I got practically unbroken with the sets. I guess there were 2 times I got unbalanced and dropped from the floor accidentally. The reps were definitely tough in the last 3 rounds but I got them.

Pull-ups, easy. Not many reps per set, only 10, so even though there were 100 of them, it was such a small amount at a time that I didn't have to struggle at all. Now as I think of it afterwards, I should have used different grips to practice on different style of pull-ups, palms facing in or out, strict and kipping. It was difficult to know this in advance. I thought they would have also turned out to be somehow consuming.

Toni's workouts. Deload week at Crossfit Vantaa, light work

  • Max reps push-ups. Result 50 reps
  • 2 x 2min amrap of air squats. Result 85 + 76
  • Max time dead hang from pull-up bar. Time 40 seconds

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday 22.9: Back squats, squat metcon

Sunday. Skills, ring muscle-up training. Workout, emom type of back squat session (max 127.5kg). Metcon, 10 rounds of: 10 push-ups, 20 squats.

Sunday squats. Tried a different type of approach on the back squats. Increasing load with little jumps till failure. As if that didn't seal the deal, I took a bodyweight metcon consisting of push-ups and 200 squats. I bet my legs hurt tomorrow.

Foam rolling for warm-up

Ring muscle-ups. Looking to find that missing technical flaw to get the first successful rep! I was also practicing the swing and found a way to get aggressive at it. The transition part still seems too difficult at the moment. I've been taking "jumping muscle-ups", i.e. jumping from the floor to the rings that are placed way lower than normally. That's how I tend to practice the transition and landing part of the muscle-up. When the rings are high up there and I can't touch the ground with my feet, the transition part feels difficult. I can't turn my body in front as aggressively as it should be done. All tips are welcomed…


  • Every minute on the minute, 2 reps
  • Start from 60kg, increase load per minute
  • Add 5kg until 100kg, then add 2.5kg per minute
  • Till failure

Starting with light weight, adding 5kg in the beginning and 2.5kg after 100kg, going for the heaviest possible load. Twist is that you got to perform 2 reps per minute so there's not too much time to recover between sets. I liked the style of the workout. There was a lot of sets in total. Should have been more though.

I was paying attention to my stance, direction of my toes and the way my knees go out. Succeeded pretty well in these aspects. Hoped to go for heavier weights but I've been neglecting pure hamstring strength this summer. Even though I've been training like a maniac, my results in squats have not improved the way everything else has. That really bugs me so I'm looking to put more effort on my legs.

One thing that have slowed me from squatting is that I have sort of pain in my right hip when I squat. Not much but still so that when I hit heavier kilos, it starts to bother me. I foresee more mobility wods in the near future, and looking to improve it through those.


Metcon. Time 7.39

  • 10 rounds of:
  • 10 push-ups
  • 20 squats

Shortish workout with two basic movements. It was cool to see that I didn't have any issues with the push-ups, unbroken all the way. Okay, there were only 100 of them but still, there are times when it's not that easy. Air squats after those barbell squats were naturally more challenging. My legs were burning from the quads and hamstrings, pretty much all around =) It felt awesome!

Air squats


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Saturday 21.9: Pull-ups, dips, du, t2b

Saturday. Skills, C2B pull-ups and ring pull-ups. Strength, weighted pull-ups and dips. Metcon, for completion, 8 rounds of: 30 DU + 10 T2B.

Today I was concentrating in pull-up skills and strength in the same session. This day was more skills oriented, trying to work on the technique and efficiency. On the other hand, I had my weighted vest on and was doing some sets of pull-ups and dips with weights. In the late afternoon we headed to the woods with Pauliina for over one hour to wander around.

Weighted reps.

  • Pull-ups, 5x9kg, 5x9kg, 4x14kg, 10x9kg, 11x9kg
  • Dips, 5x9kg, 5x9kg, 5x9kg, 5x24kg, 5x29kg, 5x29kg

Just went by feeling with the weights. My vest weighs 9kg. Must be beneficial to go for these two movements with weights. Haven't given much thought on the rep scheme when doing these movements. Bodyweight pull-ups seem to be something you could call a strength for me but having weights hanging from my waist was another thing.

Having my weighted vest on me, it seemed easy to do the pull-ups because I was able to use small kipping movement. Once I had plates hanging from me, it's purely strict pull-ups and there I kind of didn't have the technique right. At least it felt more difficult to get the body moving like I'd want. Better practice on those strict bodyweight movements as well, not always kipping.

Metcon. For completion

  • 8 rounds of:
  • 30 double unders
  • 10 toes-to-bar

Originally I was looking forward to doing 15min amrap of 5 handstand push-ups, 30 double unders and 10 t2b but my neck was a little sore from some clean & jerks earlier this week. So I dropped the hspu's and focused on these 2 movements. I was trying to keep my torso in a more upright position on the doubles and then complete the t2b's as efficiently as possible. In the later rounds of the t2b's I was able to use the swing in a less consuming way.

Couple of hours later we headed to the nearby woods with Pauliina to pick up some berries and play around.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday 20.9: Rowing

Friday. Rowing metcon, total distance 6.452m.

Knew this Friday I would have limited time to work out because I had to go to work early and then right after work we headed to dinner and theater with Toni and our ladies. So I had about 40 minutes to go all in. Not much room to warm up so I had programmed this workout that consisted purely of rowing. Turned out to be a good move!

Metcon. Distance 6.452m

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 2min @ 1.50-1.55
  • 1min @ max speed
  • 2min @ 2.10-2.15
  • 1min rest

This was good interval type of rowing metcon. There was 5 minutes of constant rowing at different speed per round and then 1 min of total rest. Starting at a pace of 1.50-1.55 / 500m for 2 minutes, then all in for 1 minute, followed by active recovery @ around 2.10 pace. Finally 1 min of rest. So it took 6 minutes per round. I was hoping to complete 7 rounds but didn't have that time for that.

Obviously those first 3 minutes were the most challenging ones, especially that 1 crucial minute of going at full throttle. My speed tended to circle around 1.38-1.42 on that specific max speed minute. That 1 min rest was enough to recover for the next round. It wasn't too easy to row @ 1.50-1.55 in the last rounds but totally manageable. The thing was that minute of pain in the middle.

I wouldn't wonder if I was myself repeating this workout, except increasing the number of rounds. Never rowed over 5k in one day in any form. My shirt was pouring sweat afterwards, at least I got the fluids running in my body.

Bodyweight workouts clearly pays off =)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thursday 20.9: Front squats and metcon

Thursday. Front squats 5x5 (100-110kg). Metcon, 10min amrap of: 10 ring dips, 10 db snatches (25kg), 10 box jumps. Result 5 rounds + 4 box.

Yesterday was bodyweight so today I added squats for increasing strength on my legs. Taking sets of 5's on front squat, then a metcon to get juice flowing in my body. The combination of the 3 movements turned out to be rather tough actually. Toni still taking it easy after having slight flu.

Front squat

Strength. Front squat 5x5 (100, 110, 100, 100, 110kg). It's been a while since doing front squats. Enjoyed squatting, no doubt about it. Have to, have to increase the amount of squats. Both front and front squat, plus overhead squats. I'm looking forward to getting my new oly lifting shoes, ordered them about a month ago so it's about time for them to arrive. Expecting great things to happen with stabilization.

I took sets of 5 reps, 5 sets. I was thinking about doing them all with 100kg but then again, after the first set I thought about increasing 10kg. The fourth rep @ 110kg was tough so I racked the bar. The rest of the sets I went with 100kg. I got perfect depth and it felt natural to do front squats. Maybe I should one day do heavier sets as well.

Metcon. Result 5 rounds + 4 box jumps
  • 10 min amrap of:
  • 10 ring dips
  • 5/5 dumbbell snatch, 25kg
  • 10 box jumps, 61cm
All these movements are of the kind that they make your heart do a lot of work. I had no problems in completing the reps, it was more the furious breathing that slowed me down. Went unbroken with the ring dips for 4 rounds. Then on the 5th one I did 6+4 and on the 6th round in 3 sets.

That 25k dumbbell went up nicely on the snatches. I got to try heavier dumbbells next time 'cause I've been doing these db snatches with this weight for some time and it seems to move well. Probably some development has been done on the snatches, both dumbbell and barbell versions.

Box jumps are always nasty. There was only 10 each round so I was able to keep moving without stopping to rest on top of the box. It's a different thing when you're doing 20 reps in a row. This workout resulted in 60 ring dips, 60 snatches and 54 box jumps.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday 18.9: Burpees and pull-ups

Wednesday. Skills, ring muscle-up transition training. Metcon, 10 rounds of: 10 pull-ups, 10 burpees. Time 12.50.

Today was time to do bodyweight stuff. Decided to take it easier in September with the barbells. Let's say it's about every other day I've touched the barbell and every other day concentrates in bodyweight movements. That can really be seen in the amount of for example pull-ups and handstand push-ups I've done this month. Let's see how the end of the month turns out to be like.

Workout of the day, last rounds

Metcon. Time 12.50
  • 10 rounds of:
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 10 burpees

No surprise this was horrible on the lungs! I've done 100 pull-ups and 10 burpees in a workout in a pyramid style. Starting from 1 rep, adding 1 more rep until 10 reps, then decreasing the amount with 1 rep at a time downwards until you're back at 1 rep, totaling 100 reps both movements. And in June I did a hero workout Bradley that included 100 reps both movements (with some running as well). All mixed variations of these 2 movements, no matter what kind the combo is, is gonna be horrible.

The feeling struck me on round 3. I did all rounds unbroken, both pull-ups and burpees. Little by little the breaks between rounds grew longer, not much but still. The first round was 45 seconds, then I intentionally rested 10 seconds, and the 3 next rounds were around 1 minute.From then on it was 1.20+ and finally 1.30+. I was able to catch up some time on the last 2 rounds as the goal line was looming in the near future.

I had no troubles in keeping myself moving when I was on the pull-up bar nor when I was moving my body on the burpees. Still, I had to take rest my hands when I was done with either of the movements. It hurt and tickled on the forearms and my lungs were about to explode. So there's some job to be done on the metabolic condition, that's an ongoing process that will never end =) I'd like to see myself keeping body moving throughout the workout without rest periods.

After workout I did proper mobility for faster recovery and body maintenance.

Toni was feeling a bit sick today so he skipped the training for today.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday 17.9: Handstand, clean and jerk, du

Tuesday. Skills, handstand. Technique, hang squat snatch. Strength, 21 x clean & jerk (80-85kg). Metcon, for quality, 4 rounds of 5 power cleans (65kg), 50 double unders.

It was time to go this training place called Eltsu for the purpose of olympic lifts. Love the place for handstand walk possibilities as they have a track there, the platform is perfect. Plus it's possible to drop barbells to the floor so it's more safe to go for high weights. Today I did clean & jerks and then a metcon, without racing against the clock, took my rest periods there. I'll add a recap video once it finishes.

Skills and technique. Handstand skills and hang squat snatch. I guess I've practiced my handstand skills every time I've been to this place. It's difficult to skip because the circumstances couldn't be better, just have to go for it. Did a few sets, not too long to fatigue my shoulders. Just needed to get the feeling and get prepared for heavy jerks.

  • 21 reps of clean & jerk
  • 11 reps @ 80kg, 10 reps @ 85kg

This was heavy weight c&j for me. One rep max is around 95kg and considering I had 20 reps ahead of me, I started at 80kg, did 11 reps and added 5kg to the barbell. Did 10 more with the 85kg bar. Squat clean and then split jerk to finish the rep. Used split jerk all the way from the beginning. I felt good about the weight. Had no problems in cleaning the bar, it felt light.

I took off with 80kg and split jerked it to full extension for 11 reps. It started to feel better after a couple of reps so the first ones felt heavier than from maybe 4-5 reps on. So I decided to increase weight in the middle of the strength session. I was positively surprised I was able to complete 10 reps more with rather heavy bar. Suppose my split jerk technique has also gotten better. Definitely a lot of work to be done and more explosiveness will be needed but still it's so much better than in the beginning.

Recap, 17.9.2013

Metcon. Not for time, for quality.
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 5 power clean, 65kg
  • 50 double unders

I took my time chilling between the movements, wasn't going to rush and go all in on this one. Just wanted to get some good power cleans and training double unders when breathing heavier. Nothing serious. Those clean & jerks sucked the juice out of me.

Toni's workouts. For quality.
  • 7 rounds of:
  • 5 deadlift, 100kg
  • 5 ring dips

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday 16.9: Row, hspu's and k2e's

Monday. Skills, deficit hspu's. Metcon, 1.000m row, then 6 rounds of: 5 hspu, 10 k2e, then 1.000m row. Time 15.03

A week ago I wrote front squats for today. Little did I know about the leg pain after Triplet. No chance whatsoever to squat. So squats were postponed and today was focused on deficit handstand push-ups, one of my favorite moves nowadays. And then a metcon to put pressure on my lungs and body in general.

Toni's scribblings after strength training

Skills. Deficit handstand push-ups
  • 5 reps without bumper plates
  • 3 reps with 1 plate
  • 3 reps with 2 plates
  • 3 reps with 3 plates

Nice movement, got to say. One day I realized I haven't done it ever before so it was about time. Liked it immediately and therefore I wanted to do it again and will do this movement in the future as well. It didn't feel as difficult as you could imagine. Took some handstand hold and a few reps as warm-up, then couple of sets with lumber plates under my arms. Starting from 1 plate under each arm and going up to three plates. Managed to do 3 reps at that level, could have put more but this was enough for today. I had a hspu metcon ahead of me.

Deficit hspu's with 2 plates

Metcon. Time 15.03
  • 1.000m row, then:
  • 6 rounds of
  • 5 handstand push-ups
  • 10 knees-to-elbows, then
  • 1.000m row

Good one, me likey. Start the metcon by rowing 1.000m and finish with the same rowing distance. In between complete 6 rounds of 5 hspu's and 10 k2e's. This was a rarity for me in a sense that there was only 2 movements and the other one was hspu. I mean normally when you've seen me doing hspu's, there's usually been 3 movements. That's because I need some recovery between the sets.

However, I've developed a lot with handstand push-ups. It wasn't obvious I would go unbroken so pushing through 6 rounds without dropping from the wall was superb. Also those knees-to-elbows were unbroken as well. The most difficult part of this metcon was the last kilometer of rowing. It was pure agony. Being a human wreck after the last set of k2e's and having to row for 1k really needed some mental work. The pace was not fast, not at all, but I was so glad it was over.

It took me about 15min and probably 30 seconds to stand up from the rower. Had to go on my knees first, then little by little crawl up to get moving. This workout was cool, tough and challenging, somehow rewarding. Go and try it out.

Toni's workouts. Push press strength and metcon.

Strength. Push press 5x5 (50, 60, 70, 75, 75kg)

Metcon. Result, 6 rounds + 4 abmat sit-ups

  • 20min amrap of:
  • 5 push press, 60kg
  • 10 double unders
  • 15 wall ball
  • 20 abmat sit-ups with 8kg med ball

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday 15.9: Active recovery

Sunday. Active recovery.

The day after Triplet. The feeling is as it should. I feel bruised. I've been mobbing my body a lot. Using foam roll, lacrosse ball and stretching to get back in shape. In the afternoon I went cycling for half an hour to get some juice flowing in my body. Hopefully all these actions have a positive effect on the recovery process. I'm gonna train tomorrow for sure.

On a bike ride

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday 14.9: HC Triplet III

HC Triplet III. Three workouts in a day!

It's that time of the year again, time for a Hard Core Triplet number three. I have nothing left in my tank, I mean nothing. The day was superb, exactly what we wanted with Toni. There was a total of 3 mean workouts of which any would have been enough for one day's workout. But the nature of the HC Triplet is to reach your limits and go beyond, we did 3 of them. This was the third time we organized this event and to probably no one's surprise, this was the toughest. The weights have become heavier in time, reps have become higher but one thing remains: the feeling afterwards that you've given your everything and left it on the battlefield. Thanks a lot Toni for sharing this day with me, you were awesome training partner!

You find more pictures in Instagram on Donscrossfit and Ponyschannel under the hash tag #hctriplet. I added a video to the end of this post, a recap of the Triplet. I hope Toni writes his own feelings in the comments so you guys get a good idea of how these workouts felt on his behalf.

Triplet, workout I. Time, Don 20.43, Pony 24.50

  • 400m run
  • 50 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 50 squats
  • 400m run
  • 40 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 75 squats
  • 400m run
  • 30 kettlebell swings, 32kg
  • 100 squats

The first workout was a humbling experience… Total of 1.200m run, 120 swings with 2 pood bell and 225 squats. The combination of these made both of our backs cry. And of course hamstrings and quads were on a tough test as well. It took me 20-30min to recover from that agonizing back pain.

On the first round I intentionally didn't run too fast 'cause that's not the part where you catch up or lose time. It's the amount of breaks you have to keep during the movements and in the transitions. 50 swings were divided to 35+15 reps and squats I did in 25+25 reps. Swings were not bad, actually it felt surprisingly light in the beginning.

The second round was 10 reps less of swings but 25 reps more of squats. That was the name of the game, decreasing swings and increasing squats. Such a simple movement as air squat is (done with bodyweight only), it starts to burn the thighs, a lot! This workout didn't give much room recovery for legs so that may have had it's sick twist there as well. I did the second round of swings in 25+15 and squats in 3 sets of 25 reps.

Last part of the run was probably a pathetic view, my legs just couldn't keep the pace up and it turned out to be a slow run. But that was not the problem, run was ok today. And it wasn't the swings or the squats either. It was the combination of these that brought some kind of pressure on low back that was increasing by the round. The third round of kb swings was thus painful. I did 3 sets of 10 reps and grimaced my teeth on every rep. The last set of squats went on in sets of 20 reps.

Triplet, workout II. Result, Don 5 rounds & Pony 3 rounds

  • 15min amrap (as many reps as possible) of:
  • 5/5 kettlebell clean & jerk, 32kg
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 5/5 kettlebell snatches, 24kg
  • 10 pull-ups

Loved it! Olympic lift movements done with kettlebells and pull-ups to add some spice to the mix. We used the same 32kg bell for the clean & jerks and Toni's new 24kg bell for the snatches. The idea on the second part of the Triplet was to put more focus on upper body. As you probably realized, the first part was a leg killer =) We wanted to have a good bunch of pull-ups and bully on our upper body with those two different kettlebell movements. I believe we succeeded in that goal perfectly. Plus this was a good breather as well. Lifting stuff overhead puts heart rate always high and this was no exception.

I managed to do this workout unbroken all the way. Total of 5 rounds so there were also 100 pull-ups completed in the 15min time frame. I just realized today after talking it with Toni that my pull-up technique is something of a mixture between kipping and butterfly pull-ups. Maybe there might something to work on so that it would become more "economical" and consume less energy on them. Anyway, they are rolling very well nowadays and I consider them somewhat a strength for me. But there's always things to look for as improvements.

Toughest part of this wod was breathing and c&j was heavier compared to snatches. At least that's what I think. We both haven't done any heavier kb snatches than 20kg prior to this day so it was encouraging to see that the bell was flying up. Maybe it would be smart to try that 32kg bell as well. My snatch PR with barbell is 62.5kg so it's pretty much on the limits whether I can snatch that 2 pood bell or not.

Triplet, workout III. Result, Don 4 rounds + 10m lunges. Pony 3 rounds + 22m lunges

  • 5 rounds of:
  • 22m walking lunges with a sandbag on back, 25kg
  • 50 double unders
  • 20 burpees
  • 15min time cap

What a finish… Looked easier on paper but once the moment got closer to actually perform the workout, I started to add up the number of reps ahead of me. Looking to go for all 5 rounds, it would have been 250 double unders and 100 burpees, plus those weighted lunges. Du's and burpees as a combination at this stage of the day when our hearts had taken a very hard stress on the previous workouts. But hey, we figured that's why this is HC Triplet. Just do it.

Got 4 full rounds and half way on the lunges on the 5th round. Total of 200 double unders and 80 burpees. Burpees were definitely "the thing" on this one. I laughed out loud when Toni speculated earlier on the day that burpees would be the rest part of this metcon. No way man! And I guess you also found it out =)

What can I say about the day as a summary. I simply loved it. Crossfit is what I like to do and I got a chance to do exactly that, these workouts were the essence of crossfit. High heart rate from the beginning to the end. Lots of different type of movements and workouts that were different in nature. I believe there is not a single muscle in my body right now. My body was cramping towards the end of the Triplet and I really felt hard work had been done.

I'm very proud of my training partner today. Toni has increased a lot of his work capacity, skill level and strength base. It also seems to me that his recovery has become more effective. Today he had shorter rest periods during the wods and received good results in my opinion. He's never tried a 32kg kb clean & jerk with 32kg and on the very first rep he made it look easy. Same with the snatches. I've never seen him nailing those kipping pull-ups just like that, I enjoyed looking how well he performed.

HC Triplet will stay in the back of our heads and we'll repeat it after a few months. The first Triplet saw the daylight in September 2012 and this was the third one. Here you can have a recap of Triplet III